By now, many businesses know that having a good website design is vital. After all, your online existence can break or make your business. But is it enough to have a website design, or do you need more than that?
For small businesses, especially if you’re struggling with cost issues or limited technical skills, investing in a well-designed, professional website can seem overwhelming. Or if you already have a working website, you might doubt the worth of a redesign.
However, evidence and studies repeatedly indicate that good web design is important and that your business’s website design impacts your customer experience, lead generation, and ultimately your business.
WHY GOOD WEBSITE DESIGN MATTERS
The design of your site is essential because your clients care about the design. Whether willfully or not, we all respond to graphics. And, people are naturally drawn to decent design. When it comes to your website design, studies have repeatedly shown that people quickly judge your business based on visuals alone and will often stop using your site if it’s poorly designed.
Here are some revealing facts about the importance of website design:
When you come across an outdated website design, what does it make you think about the business? You may doubt their legitimacy, question their products or services, or even check a competitor’s website for a better answer. Either way, research shows that we judge businesses by how their websites look.
First impressions are always great and the appearance of your website can make a good impression or drive visitors away. While this study focuses specifically on healthcare website design, the same holds for other industries.
It only takes users fifty milliseconds to create the first impression of your website design
Talking about first impressions, consumers create them almost instantly. According to a Google study, it only takes 50 milliseconds (or 0.05 seconds)! In that split second, users can’t read your site or click anything. That quick first impression depends on the visual design.
Thirty-eight percent of people will stop engaging with your site if your layout and content is not appealing
Poor web design doesn’t just hurt your credibility, it can drive potential customers away as well. People prefer to display content on beautifully designed websites, and if your content isn’t appealing, you will likely lose over ⅓ of your visitors.
WHAT WE MEAN BY “GOOD WEB DESIGN”
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
But while there’s surely some personal preference in how people interpret design, studies reveal a great deal of consistency in how we perceive design. Science and psychology support the impression that we are drawn to good-looking things, and people characteristically react to good design.
All designs utilize standard components like color, size, and shape. A good design applies those features to make a consistent visual language.
Think of it as the English language. We communicate using words, phrases, and punctuation marks with consistent rules such as spelling and grammar. Of course, some people are better at using this language than others and, as your elementary school teacher probably taught you, there is a measurable difference between “good English” and “bad English”.
While not all of us are equally skilled at communicating visually, web design and development services providers are trained to speak in this language. Therefore, it is important to invest in a professional and well-crafted website design that communicates effectively with your customers and prospects.
WHY YOU NEED GOOD WEB DESIGN
We’ve already proven that your customers care about good design, but how does your website design impact their experience? Let’s take a look at some specific ways that a good design can improve your website design.
The design has a massive influence on how easily users discover what they are looking for in your website design. Research reveals that eighty-six percent of your site visitors desire to see product or service information. Sixty-five percent of visitors are looking for contact information. And, fifty-two percent are looking for an About Your Business page.
Your web design should make these elements as easy to find as possible, otherwise, you will frustrate your users and potentially drive them away. Consider using standard conventions, such as placing your primary services in your primary navigation and listing your phone number in the upper right corner of your site.
Even if your website is working fine, poor website design can make people feel like it’s harder to use or find what they need. Two Japanese researchers conducted a study on this. They created two ATMs that worked identically, but one was attractively designed and the second was not. Users reported that the aesthetically pleasing ATM worked better. So, good web design influences both usability and our perception of usability.
Your navigation is one of the most important parts of your website design. The way it is designed is therefore essential. Here, many designers are looking at the psychology behind the design by applying Hick’s Law.
Hick’s Law says that the more selections you provide somebody, the longer it will take them to make a decision. It is often précised as keep it simple.
So when we apply Hick’s Law to website navigation, we want the choices to be as simple as possible to make it easier for users to decide where to go. As a general rule, try to limit the number of options to seven or less.
Take, for example, this office furniture company. Their product menu has 11 different options, which is a lot to choose from. If you take a closer look you will see that they have several similar categories such as “conference chairs”, “task chairs”, “guest chairs” and “other seats”. They could simplify their navigation by combining all these categories into a single option called “Chairs”.
A good web design helps guide your users’ eyes and tell them where you want them to look. On your website, your design can draw attention to special offers, highlight calls to action, and help users identify buttons and clickable items. All of these things can help users take the actions you want.
There are many ways to optimize your visual design for conversion, but let’s take a look at some common examples.
One of the most effective ways to get users’ attention to the desired action is to use white space – or open space – around your call to action.
It’s difficult to talk about the white area without mentioning Apple. They are famous for their clean designs and bold, simple pictures (like this iPhone) bordered by a ton of white space. The message here is quite clear. They desire you to click on this phone and with nearly nothing else on the page to distract you, it’s almost tough not to.
On the other end of the variety, take a website like Amazon. This page is full of information and product options, but one thing always stands out: the yellow Add to Cart button. Even on a busy page, contrasting colors and styles create a visual hierarchy that draws your eyes to that all-important convert button.
Professionalism and brand confidence
As we mentioned earlier, 3 out of 4 users will judge the credibility of your business based on your website design. Designs that appear modern and professional tend to encourage confidence. Meanwhile, a poorly designed website could cast doubt on your legitimacy. For example, if you were looking for a used car, which of these companies would you trust the most?
Another way that a good web design improves trust is brand consistency. Especially if you have a well-established brand, your customers will likely recognize things like your logo, colors, or style. Your website design ought to reflect your brand and assist to reassure people who know you are in the right place.
For instance, have a look at the website designs from two well-renowned shipping companies. Even if you can’t read the logos, you perhaps identify the distinctive colors of UPS compared to FedEx.
The majority of online searches are now done on mobile devices, and this trend will only continue. And with Google now advocating a mobile-first approach, a mobile-friendly website design is a must to stay relevant and be found online. 85% of adults think a business’s mobile website design should be as good or better than its desktop website design.
Too often web designers go about making a perfect website on the desktop – just like they would a brochure. But a good website design has to go far beyond a single screen. In today’s mobile world, you need a responsive website design that will make your website look and perform its best on devices of all sizes.
Finally, there is more to good website design than just the visual front-end elements. The way the design combines behind the scenes can profoundly affect things like search engine optimization.
A website design can look great on the outside, but if it has cumbersome coding or too many large images that slow downloading, it can drive visitors away and negatively impact SEO marketing. Web designers can also sometimes get carried away with smart designs or technologies that look great but ultimately hurt a site’s optimization.
IS THE DESIGN OF YOUR WEBSITE HAVING THE RIGHT IMPACT?
Designing your website is one of the most powerful tools your business has for making a good first impression. But to do that, it needs a great web design.
While a good website involves more than just design, customers want and expect a visually appealing layout. And they’ll judge your business by appearance before they read a single word.
If you are looking for website design and development services let us know – we’re here to help! Or, check out our gallery for more examples of good website design at work! Our Anaxdesigns custom web design company is here to assist.